SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–All month long we’ve been looking at ways you can save money at the grocery store.
We’ve shared insider tips from grocery store managers, profiled money saving smartphone apps, and showed you how to use digital coupons.
In our final installment of David’s Deals, we’re going off the beaten path to see how smaller, lesser known stores are finding ways to offer bigger savings.
“I have people who shopped with us when we opened in 1980 to now their grandkids are shopping with us, and they have kids” says Nancy Heape, owner, Greene County Freight & Food.
For 37 years, savy shoppers have been finding bargains at Greene County Freight and Food Sales. The store on West Kearney sells name brand and off-brand items. Owner Nancy Heape says shoppers can expect to pay 50% less here than a regular grocery store, in part because of how she buys items to stock the shelves.
“I buy from 100 different places where they might buy from one supplier. We have a lot of protein bars. And people love protein bars. We sell them 2 for $1. Where in a regular store they’re going to cost you 2 something” says Heape.
When this store first opened they used to sell some items that were damaged. But Heape says they don’t really do that much anymore because of an increase in grocery suppliers. She says business has doubled since the store moved to this new, larger location a few years ago.
“The average household, you have to save where you can. And when you have 2 kids or 3 kids it costs a lot of money to feed them. And the price of groceries has gone up” says Heape.
“You spend $50 here, you’re going to save $50 to $75 than going to your grocery store down the street” says Nicole DiGiovanni, Surplus Grocery Warehouse.
Another new low-cost shopping option is hidden behind a strip mall on South Campbell. Surplus Grocery Warehouse first opened in Springfield a little more than 2 years ago. In the aisles here, you’ll find merchandise that’s beyond it’s “use by or best by” date. But it is still considered safe to eat according to USDA and FDA regulations. They price things 50% less than most regular grocery stores, and they stock items besides food.
“Merchandise, like baby diapers, clothes, we get christmas items. It’s all 30-50% off depending” says DiGiovanni.
Surplus Grocery also has a store in Odessa Missouri, and it’s first store was opened in Iowa 12 years ago. Since that time business has only increased as people try to find ways to stretch their funds for food.
“The longer we’ve been open we’re just increasing in sales. People are starting to realize how much money they save” says DiGiovanni.
So what are the rules when it comes to buying those items that are expired or out of date? With the exception of baby food and formula, the FDA and the USDA do not require food manufacturers to put expired by, use by, or best before dates on food products. That information is at the discretion of the maker, and it’s simply a guideline to help sellers determine how long to keep a product on display.